The mystery of meeting the President

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President Lungu

President Lungu

By Kellys Kaunda

 
Yesterday President Edgar Lungu met with PF members at Mika Hotel in Lusaka. Someone wrote in celebratory tones that State House special assistants panicked at the thought of the Head of State demanding to see cadres because they allegedly purposely block him from meeting ordinary people and those from the lower structures of the party.
 
First of all, there’s an interesting notion that the truth is out there in the public domain and the aides are blocking the President from hearing it. Only the public knows the truth and the aides don’t. I beg to differ. Most truths in the public domain are raw and lack the many dimensions that the men and women at State House or Red Brick might have by virtue of being in those offices.
 
I remember sitting in one meeting where ordinary people were making presentations to the President. All kinds of allegations of wrongdoing were made against public officers ranging from the police to medical officials. On that basis, the ordinary people wanted the President to have such individuals either fired or transferred from their districts.
 
Being a lawyer that he is, President Lungu asked a few simple questions for clarity and it became immediately clear that most allegations being made were unfounded and may have lead to unfair decisions if they were acted upon in the form they were presented. This is one classic example of why the information presented to the President must pass through the hands of those trained to handle information and process it in specialized ways so that the Head of State is able to make informed decisions.
 
On a few occasions, I have had an opportunity of sitting in a relaxed atmosphere next to the President in addition to flying with him on the same plane. I have avoided pitching ideas and concepts directly to him because he needs to deal with his aides who understand the importance of processing raw data for him so that he is able to make decisions smoothly.
 
If the President invites you to fly on his plane with him, do not be surprised when his own staff overrules him. It is possible for the President to invite you to State House and his staff overrules him. It might shock you but the occupant of that office is an institution that should not be left alone to take responsibility for who sees him, what they tell him and what decisions he makes.
 
Do not be surprised that his aides are sitting in most meetings because they are the implementers of the decisions he makes. If the President decides to meet “ordinary” people, it’s not a vote-of-no-confidence in his aides. It’s good for politics. It’s good for his image. For an ordinary person, it’s politically therapeutic: meeting the President and making a presentation directly to him accomplishes much psychological good.
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One Response to The mystery of meeting the President

  1. Kellys just go and beg for a job from Edgar. We have heard your crying out loud. Maybe Edgar can hold PF together when PF goes into the opposition on August 11 for some 3 months and you can be spokesman to former president Chagwa. By the way no one responds to your nonsensical articles.

    Chagwaavaye
    May 11, 2016 at 6:53 pm
    Reply

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